Johnson County Delivers Signature Park Experience

Posted on Wednesday, July 17th, 2019 by
In Roadway, Stormwater, tagged in Tags: , ,

Johnson County Parks and Recreation (JCRPD) wanted to deliver a new signature park experience to residents. The fast-growing populations in Prairie Village, Overland Park, and Leawood would all benefit from a park, but there weren’t many large greenspaces available. Several years ago, JCPRD was presented with a unique public/private partnership. The plan was to transform a private golf course into a public park, leaving one-third for new development. The result was Meadowbrook Park.

Affinis was brought in to work on the project by the landscape architect, Landworks Studio. The original scope included the design of trails, bridges, and parking lots. Civil engineering related to the building was added later. The design team also coordinated utilities across the 84-acre park, adding them to shelters, bathrooms, and water fountains. We used Nyloplast structures to save costs on the storm drainage system.

“The goals for Meadowbrook Park began to be defined during the master planning phase. Through stakeholder engagement, several priorities emerged, including preservation of the property’s natural resources, providing passive recreation, and a signature gathering place where residents could make memories. Working with Affinis, we were able to evaluate and mitigate the impact of traffic, as a result of the new VanTrust Development to the south. The management of stormwater on the site was also a key priority, as existing ponds and drainageways were incorporated into the completed design. Affinis remained a supportive partner throughout the master planning and Phase I Design efforts, and their commitment to a successful completion was a value to our client and the project,” said Carisa McMullen, Principal, Landworks Studio.


To deliver for JCPRD and residents, we collaborated closely with the entire team. For example, the trails were laid out by a Landworks Studio designer. Then, our team coordinated the dirt work. We worked in the same manner on the utilities. They placed the elements, and we created plans for implementation.

One of the most prominent attractions of the park is a large hill, perfect for sledding or outdoor movies. It is made of fill that came from the adjacent developments. To design it, Landworks Studio started by providing some geometries they wanted to see in terms of shape. At the time, the amount of fill available was unknown. Our team conducted a survey of the area to establish the volume. That data was used to guide the structure of the new hill. By collaborating closely with the designer and developer, this area is now a memory-making destination for residents.

In addition to repurposing fill from nearby building sites, we were also able to rehab some of the existing parking lot. With increased visitors to the area, we planned to expand its size. While some is new, the original portion was updated with a mill and overlay. The grade was also adjusted to fit with the new community center building. Along with these changes, a new parking lot was also added near the senior space.

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Our team was also heavily involved in the design of the bridges throughout. Each one crosses a waterway and connects back to the extensive trail system. These were added to provide a greater number of options for visitors. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, they offer more connection points, allowing parkgoers to take a shorter route when desired.

Meadowbrook Park provides a number of memorable experiences for residents of all ages. Open space, trails, youth playgrounds, a new activity center, and senior exercise areas help foster a sense of community that continues to help move the area forward. Amenities, like parks, help preserve neighborhoods, improve wellness, and increase property values.

Here, you can check out aerial footage that was filmed during construction

Photos Courtesy of Harmon Construction

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